Travel Page by Planet Ranger
Home search About Advice

Travel Page

Simon and Keryn's travelling diary

Welcome to our belated travel diary on the interweb! I got this idea from Ben and Shazza Hodgson and after reading their page decided it was a brilliant idea. So hopefully we can use this page to let everyone in on our travels and activities over the next 18 months. So far we have been travelling since early June 2005. In that time we have done a small amount of country hopping going to Australia, Thailand (twice), France, Germany, Austria, Ireland and back to New Zealand. We are about to embark on a grand tour of Europe. We leave the Uk on the 3rd of July, first stop Madrid. We will keep you updated of our movements and try to post enough photos to illustrate the story. Hope you enjoy.

Diary Entries

Tuesday, 26 September 2006

Location: Edinburgh, UK

Hi there everyone,

Well since we last wrote we have visited Salzburg and Munich then back to London for a week now we are up in Scotland, Edinburgh. We decided to keep going as once we start work wont have much of a chance to get away again.

Beerfest was really great, had a large day on Saturday then a more subdued day on the Sunday. Was a great atmosphere there apart from all the mongrel activities going on and the families seem to have a good time. We thought that the food was mint as well, the pork knuckles especially.

Once back in London we did a bit more sightseeing and tried to organise some work for the start of October. Seems to be going ok so far and hopefully will have work for 2 weeks at least in York beginning on the 2nd of Oct. We are travelling up through Scotland at present, hired a car and will see where we end up.

Hope that everyone is well, keep in touch

Simon and Keryn

Tuesday, 12 September 2006

Location: Vienna, Austria

Guten Tag,

Hows it going ? We are in Vienna, arrived yesterday from Slovenia. We are counting down now to the end of our trip, we fly back to the UK on the 18th of September so the prospect of going back to work is slowly sinking in! Anyway will update you on what has been happening in Europe with us.

We left Croatia on the 5th of Sep and bused it up to Ljubljana arriving early evening. The change in the environment was quite sudden, just after crossing the border we were seeing high hills covered in green forest and rolling green pastures spread out before them. Quite refreshing to have a change of scenery. We had a hostel room out of town so caught a bus out there and checked in. We were quite tired so we went to a local restaurant that ended up being Chinese, it was quite weird to be in Europe eating asian food, but good for a change. The following day we hit the town for a sight seeing mission and managed to get in all the major sights, including a great view from the castle over the city and also a long stroll down the river plus a few city parks. That night we found a very authentic Slovene restaurant, it was quite similar to Austrian/German food we though, but all good. I had a bit of a novelty starter, onion soup in a bread cup. Awesome that you can eat the cup once the soup is finished.

On the 7th we left the capital and headed north an hour or so into Bled. This place is really amazing for its scenery. The town is beside a small lake surrounded by forest clad hills. There is a small island at one end of the lake with a church perched on top. Also they have a castle atop a high lakeside bluff making it a picture postcard place. We rented and apartment here which was really handy and then spent 4 nights there. We walked round the lake visited the castle, spent a morning canyoning and visited a nearby lake called Bohinj. We really enjoyed our time there especially the canyoning. This was basically jumping, sliding and abseiling down a creek at the bottom of a small canyon. Our guide was brilliant making it all the better. We thought that the region was a lot like NZ especially Bohinj. We decided to go to Vienna from Bled, we had also toyed with the idea of Switzerland but for some reason decided on Austria.

We caught a train here yesterday and found a hostel nearby. After watching the US open until late the night before we were pretty tired so had some drinks and headed to bed. Today we have spent the day exploring the city. It is a fairly interesting city, loads of great buildings with stunning architecture, also heaps of sculptures and fountians etc. I think we will stay for three nights here then spend a night in Salzburg before hitting Munich.

Gidday to everyone whos still reading, catch again soon.

Simon and Keryn

Monday, 04 September 2006

Location: Opatajia, Croatia

Gidday there everyone,

Sorry for the long time between entries but there are not many internet terminals on the Adriatic! Yes thats right we have been sailing for 7 days so not a lot of time on land. I will fill in the gaps.

Last time we wrote we were in Sophia. From there we left on a 7.30am bus into Serbia and had to wait in Nis until 7pm to catch an overnight bus to Hercig Novi, in Montenegro. We arrived ther at around 8.30am and waited another hour to catch a bus into Dubrovnik, Croatia. It was a long trip but really worth it as Dubrovnik was a mint place. We could only stay for one night which was a real shame. While we were there we basically swam and walked around taking in the sights. The day we were leaving we were caught in a massive thunderstorm miles from anywhere so got soaked through by the time we reached cover. Bus from there into Split where the yacht was leaving from the next day. We hooked up with half the guys going sailing and had a good catch up.

On the 26th, Saturday, we were picked up and taken to the marina to get on our yahct and met up with the other crew. There were 2 boats with 8 people on each. Our boat contained, myself and Keryn, Speedy and Alice, Truman and Lara and another couple we had just met, Phillipa and her Irish boyfriend Wil. Our captain was Croatian guy callewd Rino who proved to be great value as he was very laid back but also a great sailor. Basically we headed out on Sat arvo and spent the next 7 days cruising around mooring in bays at night and sometimes marinas if the weather was rough. Great swimming and in some places diving. Ate some great restaurants and also cooked some good feeds on the yacht. The sailing varied as some days the wind was light and others too strong. On the last 2 days we had our best sailing reaching 9 knots on both days. It was amazing how hard it was to sail going that fast, the yacht is constantly fighting you, a good work out. At one point going down wind we did a complete 360 degree turn and broke a pulley as the boom slammed across, pretty scaring but great fun.

It was sad to get off the boat on the following saturday but the liver was crying out for a rest and we needed to move on. After disembarking we headed half an hour up the coast to a small town called Trogir for the night. The next day we caught a bus to Opatajia and hence were I am writing from. It is a lovely place if not a bit upmarket. We will go to Slovenia tomorrow, into Lubjiana the capital.

We have decided to head back after beer fest or soon after so not many more instalments, will try for some more photos but still having technical difficulties at times. Hope the weahters improving in NZ and it is holding out in the UK. Until next time

Simon and Keryn

Tuesday, 22 August 2006

Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

Hi there everyone,
We are currently in Sofia, Bulgaria we arrived overnight from Istanbul this morning and we are bloody tired as there was a three and half hour wait at the boarder, but no worries it all part of travelling!

Since we last wrote we have been full on with various trips around Turkey. Our last day in Cappadoccia we did a full day trip around the region. The tour included visiting a 3000 year old under ground city, which was really amazing i wished that we could have had a place like that somewhere on the farm when i was growing up, as it was great for exploring and imagining how life would have been living down there. Also we visited a large gorge with churches etc. carved into the rock walls. Lunch was served on a river bank and consisted of a tasty 3 course meal and from there we moved onto visiting other villages carved into rock formations, one of them being where star wars was filmed!! The day concluded with visits to a Onyx factory and pottery house and was basically a selling ploy so that detracted somewhat from the otherwise great day, but at the end of the day we are tourist and they want our money. After the tour we caught an overnight bus to Istanbul and eventually made our way to Sulthanmet where our hotel was.

After cleaning up we headed out into the old city to begin exploring, first of all we hit the Grand Bazaar and were overwhelmed by the selection of goods and the number of touts that proposed the question "how many carpets will you be buying today sir?" we had a good look around and unfortunately none of the carpets were to our liking. A couple of purchases were made after some hard core haggling, so we left only slightly ripped off. Our general sifting then lead us down to the Golden Horn water front, and we stumbled upon the spice market, which was an olphactory overload. Down the waterfront and back to the room for a late afternoon kip. We were travelling with Paul and Sarah an Australian couple, so we met up early evening and caught the Blue Mosque light show, which proved to be rather disapointing. Some more Turkish cuisine was consumed and more Efes downed before crashing out.

Our second day began at 6.00am as we were going to Gallipoli for the day. We arrived in Eceabat at midday to meet our guide and have a barbeque lunch before heading to the museum. From here we had a great view of Brighton beach where the ANZAC's were supposed to land and also of Chunic Bair, the high ground that the New Zealand forces did eventually hold for 2 days and 2 nights. The museum was brief but very moving due to the emotional nature of the contents. Next we visited ANZAC cove and Ocean beach where we got an eyewitness view of the crazy terrain faced by the ANZAC's on landing. From there we headed to Lone Pine and finally the New Zealand memorial on Chunic Bair. Overall the day was incredibly moving and sobering but made us proud to call ourselves the decendants of the ANZAC's who fought. Ended up getting back to Istanbul after midnight, so a bloody huge day. Our third day we visited the under ground Basilica Cistern, the Blue Mosque, viewed the Aya Sofya and the rest of the major sights. We said goodbye to Paul and Sarah, boarded the bus and here we are.

Hope all is well with everyone, keep in touch, until next time
Simon and Keryn

Thursday, 17 August 2006

Location: Turkey

Also I forgot to mentıon that I have been havıng real trouble uploadıng photos as I have just spent ages savıng photos to the computer I am on but now they are lost ın cyber space. Sorry I wıll try agaın soon.


Thursday, 17 August 2006

Location: Goreme, Turkey

Hi there everyone

Hope everyone is well wherever you are at present. Well we are now ın Cappadocia Goreme to be exact. Thıs ıs the place wıth all the weird fairy chimineys and houses carved out of the rock. We have just fınıshed the blue cruise so wıll fıll in the gaps.

Well we had one more day ın Fethiye sınce İ last wrote. This was spent ın the Saklikent gorge clımbıng over waterfalls and up slippery rocks. Heaps of fun and was made better by the fact there was not a hell of a lot of man made structures to help along the way. The amount of water that comes up from the ground at the begınnıng of the gorge is incredible. A lot of water falls on the upper ranges and comes out down the bottom so water ıs plentiful. Keryn did really well and was beatıng me up the gorge most of the way.

On the 12th we headed out on a 24 meter wooden Gullet. The were 18 of us on board a really good mıx of blokes and chıcks and people from all walks of lıfe and dıfferent countrıes. We all got on well whıch made for a great trıp. We saıled from Fethıye to Damray where we were bused to Olympos. Basıcally we motored to a cove then swam drank and ate for the day then headed to another place for the nıght. We visited small towns and islands of ınterest along the way. One place was St. Nıcholaus Is where the bıg man himself was supposed to have lıved for a while. One awesome experıance was seeıng a sea turtle. We jumped ın and swam after ıt and was able to snorkel within feet of it. The trıp was over much faster than we wanted but all good things do.

From the boat we carried on to Olympos an old school hippie hang out where we stayed ın tree huts and chilled out. Keryn and İ went sea kayakıng on our last day there before takıng an overnight bus to Goreme arrivıng thismorning. Today we hıred moutain bikes and rode ın the searing heat to explore the weird rock formations and the caves carved into them. We stay tonight and do a tour of the local area tomorrow before taking an overnight bus to Istanbul.

Everything stıll goıng amazingly well. Keep up the correspondence as ıt ıs great to hear form everyone.

Sımon and Keryn

Thursday, 10 August 2006

Location: Fethiye, Turkey

Gidday there folks,

Sorry about the time lapse between last entry, thank to everyone who is reading and sending messages, great to recieve them all.

We are in Fethiye in Turkey at the moment, will give a run down on what's been happening.

Well we had a really great time on Santorini, we did everything we wanted to while we were there. We did a lot of snorkelling and sunbathing but also quite a lot of sightseeing and tripping around the island. Where we were camping was right on the beach so the daily routine was basically get up, breakfast, hit the beach, swim, snorkel, sunbath and read a book then repeat until the sun became too much. Did quite a bit of walking also. On the second day there we hired a scooter and headed off to the red beach. When we hired the scooter we didn't realise that a) it was the loudest scooter on the island and the users were required to wear earplugs, b) that it was a piece of crap and that going up hills it would overheat and boil over and c) that the seat was incredibly hard and caused the riders to get serious piles! Anyway we got going and at the red beach saw masses of people trying to get a small piece of beach, we decided to take some shots and head to a less crowded place, also while we were there bumped into Jane Donald and Ben Fitchet, good to catch up with them. From there we hit Kamari and a few other smaller beaches then on to Fira and Oia then home. The bloody bike wouldn't start after calling in for some food so we were livered by the time we returned it, anyway a good day was had.

Third day we tried to organise ticket to get to Rhodes, what a mission! The only ferry going went every 3 days and took nineteen hours and the next one was full, so after a major amount of mucking around we booked a flight online, 45 minute journey time, sweet as. The only bugger was we didn't get to Naxos as we had planned but no worries still plenty to do where we were. The next day was a day on the local beach then the day after we hired another bike this time a quad and did the trip round the island again, there was a wind that day and unfortunately red beach was under heavy swell. Caught a sunset at Oia and then home for one of the strangest meals I've ever had. If you've got a weak stomach stop reading now. We went to a grill house and I ordered a meal, it was something like Kosteraki or something, and it cinsisted of lambs organs, lung, liver, spleen, kidney, all skewered onto a spike then wrapped with the casings of small intestines and grilled on a rotissary over coals, similar to souvlaki. It was really rich and I couldn't eat it all, but gave it a good shot, Ben you would have mowed it.

The day we left was caught the plane to Rhodes and got in at about 6pm. Hooked up with an Aussie girl, Mel and headed into the city found the hostel and headed out. Rhodes city was awesome, a huge medievil fortified old city with bustling streets and awesome atmosphere. Went to a taverna recommended by the hostel owner, dropped his name and were treated like royalty. Had a good look around the city the next day, did a tour on a little red train with a hard case guys driving, everyone in Rhodes seemed to know him, he had women crying in the streets this guys so he must be a legend. Caught the ferry to Marmaris at 4pm then bus to Fethiye and found a pension. At this stage had another 2 aussies with us and so 5 of us headed out for a meal. Had a brilliant night out, great food and some shisha pipe for dessert, no its nothing illegal!

Today we headed to a really great beach, caught a bus there. Tomorrow going to a gorge and some ruins then Saturday morning doing a 'Blue Cruise' to Olympos, 3 nights, 4 days, should be mint. Anyway hope all is well where ever you are.

Bye until next time.

Previous Diary Entries

Choose a date from the menu below to view older diary entries in a new window.

Photos - Click Below

Leave a Message


Email (optional):


Travelling Soon?

Get Your own Planet Ranger Travel Page. Click Here

Recent Messages

Hi guys,
Not long before you're back to
the real world. Your travels sound fantastic. Everyones well here, Caitlyn's 1st birthday on the 28th Sep. Their house is starting to take shape now. Doing the hatuma half marathon this sunday have done no training so getting a bit nervous. No more news talk to you soon. Sarahxxx

Response: Hi there Sarah,

Hope the half marathon went well. Yes we arrived back in the UK but have decided to see what Scotland is all about. Hope you are all well

From maca
marsh please put on some weight...

While I waited I was wasting away
While I waited I was wasting away
While I waited I was wasting away
Hope was wasting away
Faith was wasting away
I was wasting away
Response: lay off the peace pipe Angus, have you looked in the mirror recently?
From Kirsty
Hi Guys - love the website I am so envious of you - you both look fantastic - although Simon getting a bit hairy on it! Happy to see you making the most of your experience - I wish I could be there with you, miss you loads, be safe xxoo
Response: hey kirst,

Simon has now thank god, got rid of the beard, it took a long time to persuade him though!! thanks for the message, miss ya heaps to
From Tim Saunders
What a great sight guys. Although Marsh i think you should stop travelling soon as you will only be skin and bone in a few weeks. Looks like your having a wicked time. See you soon.

Response: cheers mate have beefed up after some solid eating on the yacht!
From michelle
hi guys you both look so fit and well. Yes I am on night duty yet again!!!!!!! I have holidays from the 4th Sept for 4 weeks not going away just going to potter at home, garden, house clean etc sounds fun doesn't it. love to you both Mumxxxxxxx
Response: hi mum
hope all is well there, you must be looking forward to your holidays! Well we are in Croatia at the moment sailing around, the weather has not been the greatest unfortunately, but it is still a very beautiful place. miss ya
keryn and simon
From Richard Lee
have a shave n put some weight on n i'll give you a job!!!
great www-talked to mum 2nite n she told us bout this so snooping around,All good in HB/Godzown,very envious of you.Happy days....RL
Response: good to hear from you, you will pleased to know that i now only have a moustache, (much to keryns disgust!!)

Hi guys
hope all is well. photo's are great. Keryn you look great very skinny!!! Bree really misses you and still considers you her favourite aunty. Alyce seems to be getting better and Terry is going over a bit earlier. Well no more news.
luv Sarah
Response: hi
Thanks for the email, tell bree and lilly i miss them very much too!! i talked to alyce the other day on the phone and she seems to be working very long hours, im sure she cant wait for terry to get there, anyway, miss ya heaps
keryn and simon
From Ruth
Hi again Great reading your travel stories. David moved into his house Friday but just here until Sunday and then heads back to Auckland. House is lovely. Loretta starts her job at Animates on Tuesday for 6 months so guess after that they will decide what to do with it. David's job is too good to leave so I guess they will end up in Auckland. Busy at work Simon with all the 3rd year vet students coming in for their Lab coats and a few 5th year for Overalls. Really cold here at the moment so can't wait for some of those yellow rays to shine. Take care and thinking of you both, altho very jealous. Love Ruth and Chivas xxooxx
Response: Hi,
We are in Bulgaria at the moment, arrived in Sofia overnight from Istanbul this morning, so very tired, as we had a 3 and a half hour wait at the boarder!! Great to hear david's job is going well. Where is his house? Is it in Palmerston North? Make sure you keep those crazy vet students in line. Thanks for your email
Love keryn and simon
From Murph
G'day Marsh, I did get ya email a few months ago talking about this website, so I've finally got round to having a look. Sounds like the trip is all good, and some bloody cracker photo's. Will keep up to speed more often, be good!
Response: good man hows the diving going?
From Sue
Your bike rides sound fairly typical of your luck on wheels!!!! Remember the 10speed coming down the hill with the pruning saw which started on the handle bars and then wrapped around your head?!!!!! At least you didn't come to grief this time. Great fun. Perhaps you could get the recipe for that amazing dish and I could serve it to the Rotarians!! NOT.
Lovely to hear from you.
Dad and Mum
Response: yeah me and bıkes dont mix too well
From michelle
Hi guys The boat cruise sounds it will be fun I could see myself doing that. Lovely to talk to you Keryn the other night. Have not talked to Alyce again She was getting a new phone on Friday so will let you know the number. love Mum xxxxxxxxx
Response: the boat cruise was awesome we are now really looking forward to croatıa sailıng
From Wendy & Pete Murphy
Hi Simon!!
Mum & Dad are here with us in PN for the night and told us about the fantastic website!!!
Absolutely fabulous!! Loved seeing your photos and LOVE the beard!! Have a great time and keep safe. Love from us both. I'll tell Nick about this website in case he doesn't know about it. See ya!! Hi to Keryn
Response: Cheers guys hope you can get to see ıt every now and then
From Vaughan
Hi Keryn & Simon
Finally caught up with your website you certainly are having a great time
Everys things going good on farm very wet winter Bobs still away in the warmer climate hes no fool
Still loving the bike
Nana continues to hang in there Reid fighting spirit i reckon
Thats me think your web is great
Luv Dad
Response: great to hear from you Vaughan hope all is going well keep in touch
From Lorraine
Hi Simon & Keryn
Great to hear your having so much fun.
Sorry I missed you guys in England. My feet hardly touched the ground, meeting family, and packing as much sightseeing in as I could I ran out of time.
Heard you bumped into Vicki & Mark while you were in Spain, they put me up in London it was brilliant. The photos on your web site are awesome. Better than mine! You b....gers. All the best
Response: Hi
Yeah it was a shame that we couldn't meet up, but we know what its like, never enough time!! It was really strange bumping into Vicki and Mark, as well as a few others from Waipuk, how about that aye, half way across the other side of the world and we see people from Waipuk, such a small world, anyway thanks for the email
love keryn and simon
From Amy
Hey guys, what a great idea this website is, have just come home from nz sking and stuff, was a great trip glad to be back though. Looks like you guys are having a ball, look forward to catching up one day soon, take care love always xoxoxo
Response: Sweet as, thanks for having a look at the site, hope you had an awsome time skiing, see ya
love keryn and simon
From Tim Parkes
Marsh, sure you're updates are interesting but I'm going to wait for the movie.
Response: hack!!!!!!!
Response: Well when i win lotto, tell her that she can come and see her favorite aunty, tell them i miss them heaps, stink that whetu didn't make it into the finals, who was he playing? Alyce was very brave going buy herself as i know what it would be like, i dont think i could do it by myself, anyway miss ya heaps
love keryn and simon
From Tails
Hey guys - sounds like you are having a great time. Is Sarah travelling around the same place at the mo. Nball over - beat Central for 3rd place. Dana, Shivy, Briar and Louise Thompson all made Eastern squad. Keep up the emails xxx Tails
Response: hey, thanks for the email. we have been kind of following after sarah, was a shame we couldn't catch up at some stage, i am missing not playing netball. miss ya
keryn and simon
From Sue
Really love reading your diary, so exciting and takes me back 30 years!!! Had a phone call from Hamish and Steph to say you had met Jane, small world. Caught up with Mary yesterday and saw all her photos of their time on Samos. Looked wonderful.
Love Mum and Dad
Response: Cheers Mum, great to talk yesterday. Hope the grass starts growing soon, catch up soon
love Simon and Keryn
From Ruth
Hi guys
Just reading your diary makes me very jealous. David is here for the weekend checking out their house. Looks really nice. Kitchen goes in tomorrow. haven't caught up with James & Kelly yet. They didn't come to Stephens last Sunday. Mind you Megan didn't make it either - too hung over. We had a couple of 5th year vet sudents in for drinks at work last night like we do and they had just done a safari in Africa. Amazing photos. Won't go into the veterinary things that were done to the elephants and rhinos but you will know. Well take care will email you soon. XXXXOOOXXXX
Response: thanks for the email. Have had a pretty relaxing 3 days on Santorini so far, sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling!! The water here is so beautiful and clear and calm, i dont usually like swimming in the sea but you cant keep me out of it!! talk soon
love keryn and simon
From sarah
hi guys
cool website. Hope you had a
great day for your birthday
Keryn I was thinking of you. Better go at work talk later.
Response: Thanks, had a pretty good birthday, just been relaxing for the last 3 days, trying to work on my tan, getting better, have been snorkelling quite a bit, the water is so clear you can see for miles. anyway will try to ring at some stage, say hi to whetu and the kiddies, tell them i miss them heaps
love keryn and simon
From Steve and Andrea
Great website
Awesome to catch up on your travels with photo gallery
Safe Travelling
Response: nice to hear from you guys, hope all is well in your household, loving it here on Santorini, relaxing and sunbathing as well as a bit of swiming and snorkelling, what more can you ask for!! anyway nice to hear from you
love keryn and simon
From michelle
Hi guys I'm on that bloody!!!!! night duty again. You sound like you are having a great time even makes me want to travel a bit. Got a lovely card and photo from Trish in Aussie. Hope all is well lots of love Michelle and Mum xxxxxxxx
Response: Hi mum
that was nice to recieve a card and photo from trish, harry is a little cutie, hope all is well there, how was alyce's fairwell, has she got an email address, i will get in contact with her when we get back to the UK
From Osama Bin Laden
Firstly Hi Simon and Keryn - your travel diary makes me so jealous as I am holed up in a cave somewhere near the Kyhber Pass. Don't tell George. Anyway me and the boys are big fans.

Tim - the situation out east really is hostile. Watch your back. I normally would want to destroy an infidel such as yourself but since you are Simon's brother I will extend you an offer. Your engineering skills are required. Come and work for me and I will provide a cave with your own fire and AK-47 for you to fire into the sky in rage. Please forward me your CV as HR are getting arsey about recruiting westerners for the Al Quieda.
Ciao, Osama.
Response: cheers bro, hope we never catch up,
see you never
From Ruth
Hi Keryn & Simon You guys I know are having a great time. Keryn david has had his 26th. He's moved to Auckland to be Area Manager of 9 stores there. Don't know what is going to happen to the house they are building here. Saw your Mum and Alyce last week nice to catch up. Going up to Stephens Sunday so that should be good to catch up with Megan, Sarah and the kids. You guys make the most of everything you can and it seems that u are.
Take care and lots of love Ruth XXOOXX
Response: Hi
Nice to hear from you, i was thinking of davids birthday, probably cause it is 2 days after mine, that sounds awsome about his new job, good on him. where is he building a house? never knew about that, anyway thanks for the email. lots of love and kisses, keryn and simon